LONDON — LGB and questioning youth in the U.K. are more likely to experience depressive symptoms as early as age 10 and the symptoms persist at least into their early 20s according to the findings of a new study reported on by MedicalXPress.
Depressive symptoms increase at a higher rate through adolescence among LGBQ youth than for their straight peers and they are more likely to have self-harmed recently, according to the findings published this week in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Research was conducted at University College London.
LGBQ young people were found to be four times more likely to self-harm with suicidal intent than straight teens, MedicalXPress reports.
The study, which is the first of its kind in the U.K., included 4,828 young people from the Children of the ‘90s birth cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, who had reported their sexual orientation at age 16, MedicalXPress reports.
To make for a robust sample of LGBQ youth, all participants who were not exclusively heterosexual were grouped into the same “sexual minority” category, including 625 people (13 percent) who had described themselves as homosexual, bisexual, mainly homosexual, mainly heterosexual, unsure or not attracted to either sex, MedicalXPress reports.
The participants responded to questions about depressive symptoms seven times from age 10-21, and at 16-21 were asked if they had attempted to hurt themselves in the past year.